As a former soldier, Vietnam veteran, maybe the warfare part of our Christian life stands out to me more so than to another who hasn't had the discipline drilled into them. Our military, especially in time of war, is very serious, very intent on the rank and file hearing orders and obeying them immediately, knowing that they will be backed up, all the way up the chain of command.
Jesus said, many times, "He who has ears to hear, let him hear"
This soldier, mentioned in Matthew 8...
5 And when Jesus was entered into Capernaum, there came unto him a centurion, beseeching him,
6 And saying, Lord, my servant lieth at home sick of the palsy, grievously tormented.
7 And Jesus saith unto him, I will come and heal him.
8 The centurion answered and said, Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldest come under my roof: but speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed.
9 For I am a man under authority, having soldiers under me: and I say to this man, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it.
Again, how the soldier replied:
"I am not worthy that thou shouldest come under my roof: but speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed.
For I am a man under authority, having soldiers under me: and I say to this man, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it."
First off, he humbled himself.
The military is good at stripping you of pride, self sufficiency and replacing those with humility (push ups for disobedience help here - some require many, many push ups and other disciplines), service (looking out for your buddy and your unit before yourself), patience (hurry up and wait).
Secondly, he recognized authority.
He was practiced in taking orders and giving them and seeing them carried out. He came to Jesus purposely seeking Him out. A soldier learns who to go to in the chain of command when he needs something done.....and fast. A good soldier is not a politician. He gets to the point because many times he's dealing in life and death situations. He knew (believed!) that Jesus was the One Who could take care of his problem By inference (seeking Jesus out), this soldier had heard that when Jesus spoke the Word that whatever He spoke came to pass. He must have heard of the healings, deliverances, miracles that occurred when Jesus spoke).
10 When Jesus heard it, he marvelled, and said to them that followed, Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel.
11 And I say unto you, That many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven.
12 But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
13 And Jesus said unto the centurion, Go thy way; and as thou hast believed, so be it done unto thee. And his servant was healed in the selfsame hour.
Now Jesus was with His disciples day and night for over three years. They saw multitudes of miracles, healings, deliverances in that time. They heard Jesus preach, they were taken aside by Him many times and heard Him explain parables and hard sayings that others couldn't grasp because they didn't have ears to hear (see the parable of the sewer).
It wasn't a disciple that Jesus said to: "...Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel."
It was a soldier.
We are soldiers in the Lord's Army. Some of us (all of us?) will probably ride with Him when He returns to the Mount of Olives at Armageddon. Do we have the faith of a soldier? Do we recognize that when Jesus speaks the Word (the Bible IS the Word of God) we can and must believe that it will prevail over all of our circumstances, all of our problems, it will supply all of our needs?
Do we believe that faith alone, in the Word of God, will defend us - that God knows exactly what we are going through right now (before the World began!), and He IS able to defend us, Himself, without our carnal help?
Can we, in a dire situation, HUMBLE OURSELVES (not depending on carnal weapons), seek His counsel, His will for the situation and move out (or stand still), on the authority of His Word, having the faith that His Word will prevail?
Faith! Faith not in ourselves or our ability to understand what we read and do it. Faith in God and His authority to bring the right solution to whatever the need. Faith in God, not ourselves.
1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
2 For by it the elders obtained a good report.
6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
The best thing a soldier can do everyday is to first, pray and read your Bible before going out on the battlefield to do battle with the enemy. And when you go out, go with the authority that you have in the mighty Name of Jesus.